If you missed the Final Footwear debate this week, the shoe company apparently hired SEO experts who in turn apparently began filling blogs with spammy comments — “great blog post!” — with links back to FinalFootwear.com. Our blog got hit several times. (Such link building is a dirty search engine optimization tactic to try to trick Google into thinking a web site is more relevant, since many links now point back to the site, Google rates sites in part by how many links point to them, and thus Google in turn might elevate that company’s web site in search results.) We say apparently, because it is possible real people named Nike and Timberland decided to comment on blogs and link randomly back to a shoe web site. So we gave Final Footwear’s SEO plotters a little spanking.
The most interesting thing about the issue is now if anyone searches Google for “FinalFootwear” as one word, our questions about whether it is a link-spammer are now the second and fourth search results. As we wrote over at Kelly Craft’s blog:
“It shows how all brands, and all of us, must tread fairly online, since human networks are now self-correcting. When people cross lines of perceived fairness, the group communities react. It’s almost a new form of social justice — groups of humans know when something is wrong, and now social media helps them react very clearly with a response.”
Final Footwear, we’re still willing to discuss this in person. Feel free to give us a call.